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Michael Kiwanuka Scores First No. 1 Album in U.K.

Michael Kiwanuka
Phil Sharp

It's 15 and counting for Drake. His “One Dance” (Cash Money/Republic/Universal), featuring Wizkid & Kyla, has started a 15th week atop the U.K. singles chart, moving within one week of equaling the all-time record for an unbroken run at the top. Meanwhile, British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka's sophomore album Love & Hate (Polydor/Universal) debuted at No. 1, his first in the territory.

Drake's single is now level with the 15-week sequence at No. 1 recorded by Wet Wet Wet's “Love Is All Around” in 1994, and within touching distance of Bryan Adams' record of 16 consecutive weeks in 1991 with “(Everything I Do)” I Do it For You." The Official Charts Company reports that “One Dance” scored the week's highest streaming total, with 4.33 million plays. The track was greatly helped by Universal's tactic, in a two-week campaign, of reducing its price on iTunes from 99p to 59p, which saw paid sales rise 33 percent.

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“Perfect Strangers” (Positiva/Universal) by Jonas Blue featuring J.P. Cooper moved up 3-2 to change places with Chainsmokers' “Don't Let Me Down” (Disruptor), featuring Daya. The slow-moving nature of the U.K. singles chart in recent weeks was further reflected as Calum Scott's “Dancing On My Own” (Instrumental) held at No. 4 and “This Girl” (3 Beat) by Kungs Vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners at No. 5. “Treat You Better” (EMI/Universal) by Shawn Mendes climbed 13-9 in its seventh chart week.

Kiwanuka, whose debut album Home Again reached No. 4 in the U.K. in 2012, debuted at the top with the follow-up, staying ahead of Adele's 25 (XL Recordings). That remained at No. 2 as Christine & the Queens reached a new peak with an 8-3 climb for Chaleur Humaine (Because Music). Drake's Views fell 3-4 and Coldplay's A Head Full Of Dreams (Parlophone/Warner Music) 4-5.  

Last week's new entry at No. 1, Ellipsis (14th Floor/Warner Music) by Biffy Clyro, fell to No. 6; Bob Marley & the Wailers' enduring retrospective Legend (Universal Island) climbed 39-8 after being featured in the promotion surrounding today's 60th anniversary of the U.K. album chart. It was last in the top ten, thanks to a previous price drop promotion, in Sept. 2014. On the compilation chart, Now That's What I Call Summer Hits (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/Universal) started a third week at No. 1. 

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